With the patience of a Taoist we wait for our rivers to open. The Wood closed the end of March on a high note…the fishing was fantastic. And now the flows have jumped as high as 1,300 CFS with the recent warm weather. With a bulk of the high altitude snow yet to come down, this is the flush the Wood and it tributaries has needed since the fire. Water wise, we are going to be in good shape for the summer. For now, we still have Steelhead in the Salmon, decent flows on the Lost below Mackay, and reservoirs filling fast. For the rest, we shall get there someday…soon.
THE SALMON RIVER
To date, 2,607 Steelhead have made it to the Sawtooth Hatchery; 700 showed up on April 12th alone. The snow melt has caused the river to double in size down by Salmon, but above Basin Creek the river remains fishable with a majority of the pressure happening downstream of Pahsimeroi and Sawtooth Hatcheries. The weather has turned cooler again and conditions should stabilize; however, this can change quickly. Always check with us before you go. As for techniques, in the smaller, upper part of the river, sight fishing with a single handed rod works well and on the lower river in the classic wide steelhead runs, it is fun to swing flies with a Switch or Spey rod. Either way, now is the time to go, as this fishery only stays open till the end of April.
BIG LOST BELOW MACKAY
The flows are holding steady at 96 CFS and should remain there until the end of April when the flows traditionally jump to between 500 and 700 CFS. At the moment, Trail Creek Pass is still closed and will remain closed until some time in May. Still, this is the best option if you are looking to get some trout fishing in before the spring runoff. You can expect to find both midge and Baetis present. For midge patterns, have a good selection of Griffith’s Gnats in size 18 to 22 as well as Trailing Shuck Midge in the same size. For Baetis, try Harrop’s Parachute Baetis and a simple High Vis Parachute Baetis for when the light goes flat in size 18 and 20. Before the hatch starts try small Rainbow Warriors, Bishop’s Dynamites, Zebra Midge, or Pheasant Tail nymphs in size 16-20 fished below a small indicator or high visibility dry. You might also try a double nymph rig fished Euro Style through the deeper runs. San Juan Worms, Large Stone Flies, or Prince nymphs trailed by a small nymph can be effective.
The Creek is closed for the season. Opening day is May 28th.
THE BIG WOOD
The Big Wood is now closed for the season, but will reopen, along with Silver Creek, on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (5/28).
SOUTH FORK OF THE BOISE
The South Fork of the Boise is now closed for the season, but will reopen, along with Silver Creek, on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (5/28).
While a bit off color, Magic is a good option from a float-tube or the bank around Myrtle Point for trout, bass, and perch. When heading to Magic keep in mind, the Fairfield cutoff is may still be closed, but all other roads are open. Another option is the Duck Valley Indian Reservation which opens to fishing on the 1st of April. This fishery is managed by the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes and has three different reservoirs to pick from: Mountain View, Lake Billy Shaw, and Sheep Creek. For a small fee, you can fish all three and camping facilities are available as well. As for techniques in both locations, try pulling a team of small leech patterns in black, brown or olive on an intermediate or type 3 sinking line. Often spring trout are feeding on Daphnia, aka fresh water plankton, and a leech is a welcome meal. I also like to use Sheep Creek Specials in Duck Valley, or perch colored patterns at Magic. Also, suspending a series of nymphs at the right depth can also be effective at both locations. Come on by the shop and we can set you up.
South Fork of the Boise